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Lockheed Martin Aerospace...

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Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, a division of US global security firm Lockheed Martin Corporation, has said it would cut about 800 jobs by year-end to improve its competitiveness.

The company said the payroll deductions represent about 4.5 per cent of the overall workforce and are "aimed at improving its competitive posture."

The company will offer a voluntary layoff plan aimed at minimising layoffs at the division's facilities, primarily in Denver, Colorado, and Sunnyvale, California.

"The action we are taking, though difficult, is necessary to adapt to our current projected business base and to maintain an appropriate workforce to meet our customers' needs," Joanne Maguire, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems said yesterday.

The company underscored that the job cuts announced were separate from a downsising underway as a result of the planned phase-out of the Space Shuttle programme in 2010.